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Wednesday, May 30, 2001
Rachel, I am dying. Thanks for the laugh.
And thanks also go to Grant for having such a fascinating list of blogs to browse. You never know what gems you'll find in the most unlikely places. Like uxblog, which purports to be all about online user experience. Yet it was there I found out all about the Midols and their battle against the evil Monsteruation. As Uxblogger says, "What kind of message is this sending to girls?" Oh, let's see: your body is your enemy. Attack. I admit I was mildly amused at the vaguely tampon-shaped personal transporters ridden by the heroines. The whole thing begs the question: Is there an equivalent for boys? How about battling the fearsome Voice-Cracker? Doctor Nocturnal? Adolph Acne? Sheesh.
Advertising is just a little bit on my mind, since I saw the 2000 Cannes-Venice Advertising Awards last night. I didn't think it was as stellar as in years past, but there were definitely some priceless commercials. Particularly the irritating eyeballs from the U.K., the stadium wave/antiperspirant ad from France, and the Marion Jones online Nike series.
Monday, May 28, 2001
Judgment Day approacheth: This is the last week of my probationary period at Karo. For some reason I feel that my status isn't assured here. But then this is the same person who was utterly convinced that she wasn't going to get the job at Karo in the first place. So it's not like I'm an authority.
Hey, Geeks are nice! I spent Saturday night in the company of a former colleague, her computer programmer/genius partner, and two of his programmer pals. At those times when they reverted to plain English, I discovered how truly nice they were. It felt every bit like I was visiting a foreign country, where I didn't really know more than tourist language, and my hosts would occasionally slow down to my speed to explain things. All of them, interesting, were Formula 1 fanatics. I have never discovered the allure of car racing, and the noise gives me a clanger, but after talking to three confirmed car maniacs, it seems like there is something to these speedy car races after all. Like the thrill of passing at 250 km/hr.
I didn't hit anyone else with a frisbee all weekend. Oh, and my first race in months, the Run, Walk & Roll 10 km on Saturday? I started off DEAD LAST, something I've never done before. Once I stopped spazzing about it, I started to enjoy it. I had the path to myself, it was a beautiful day, and I treated it like a training run. I still run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute, and sure enough, at the halfway point I began catching up with runners. Those 1-minute walks really make a difference to my legs. Eventually I ended fifth last, which is just barely enough to assuage my throbbing ego. Next up: The Stampede Road Race 10 km in July. By the way, lots and lots of people yelled at me on Saturday, but they were all from my marathon class, and they were all encouraging. Embarrassing, but nice.
Friday, May 25, 2001
If Microsoft had this for an office assistant, the digital world would be a better place.
Distinguishing note of the day: Playing frisbee with Fearless and throwing beautiful forehands and backhands - straight, clean, true, hard. Beyoots. Except for two tiny wild throws. One which hit the front wheel of a cyclist. The other (and also my last shot of the day, understandably) which brained a passing jogger, DESPITE my loud cries of "Heads up! Watch out! Duck!"
First race of 2001: Tomorrow morning, 9 a.m., called "Run, Walk & Roll." Hope it's fun. I won't be beating my last year's times, that's for sure.
Thursday, May 24, 2001
Well, that's fairly typical. Hey, do you want to know how to ensure your stock price goes up? Sell your stocks. I did yesterday, and sure enough, today the price is higher. Oh, well, that's the game, I suppose. I had to do something with them by the 29th, anyway, or lose them forever, and since the stock tanked three weeks ago I was afraid this current rally might be more of a dead cat than a sustained rise. But it only had 5 more days to sustain its rise before I had to cough up, what the hell.
The Daily Yell: Last night was a beautiful night for a beautiful that I'm not going to spoil the memory by detailing the particularly puerile comment made by two rollerbladers. However, as a general note, I will say that "Passing on your left" is a far more effective comment on a crowded pathway.
Deep Water Running: I've toyed with this once or twice in the past, but Tuesday night was my first real hour-long session. What a hoot! And for once, my superior stem cell storage system gave me an edge over the ectomorphs. There may not be too many advantages to having a big, square Scottish bum, but lemme tell ya, they float well. And yes, the deep water running was a real workout, with the added bonus that no one could tell how hard anyone was perspiring.
3:30 a.m., suddenly wide awake and not feeling at all well. That was it as far as sleep was concerned. My, "Simon and Simon" was a cheesy show...but it did take my mind off the discomfort.
Tuesday, May 22, 2001
Unbelievably not taken yet: I think I may have coined a new term...maybe. I was writing to a pal about The Big Guys pulling the plug on, not to mention their protracted gassing of my beloffed old EyeWire office here in Calgary. I referred to this as "e-thanasia"--yes, yes, only mildly witty, I realize. My friend replied and said the term was new to him. I checked with Himself and he found references to a band called EthanAsia and a crossword puzzle reference. So I'll send it to Wired and see what gives. "E-thanasia: pulling the plug on a dotcom company (or website of traditional company).
Weekend runs: No one yelled either on my long run on Saturday a.m., or last night's lovely twilight trot, although a couple of geeze honked at me. Buggers.
Thursday, May 17, 2001
More Yelling: How timely, considering my previous blog. As I crossed the bridge at Edmonton trail, passing a man, he called after me in a strong Ethiopian accent, "Oh, good job!" This is tending to prove my theory that when certain people see tubby ones plodding along, they feel obliged to encourage them. It's a nice urge, really. Not so nice were the two post-pubescent boys who came upon me as I was stretching post-run. "That's DISGUSTING," said one. In all fairness, they may not have been saying that about me, but since I had one leg up over the back of a bench and was bent over in all my sweaty glory, and they said it right behind me, I'm making the assumption. Heh heh heh. It is my self-appointed duty to continue offending them.
During yesterday's run in the rain, after which I looked like a particularly bedraggled mime, my makeup all smeared, it occurred to me to start keeping a log of all the times I've been yelled at on the road.
I don't mean while driving my car, the fearsome Dadmobile, though that sometimes happens. I mean when I'm out patting the pavement in my expensive pronation control runners. So I'll recap a few incidents from the last month of jogging, and maintain it from now on.
  • April 25: A construction worker yells "Keep on truckin', darlin'!" as I jog past a pedestrian bridge.
  • April 26: An oncoming cyclist barks and howls as he passes me.
  • May 7: As I approach them, two men on a pathway bench exchange looks and one yells after me "Speed kills!"

Years ago this would have bothered me enough that I would have run only very early in the morning. Not now. The yellers all tend to be male, somewhere in their late teens and early 20s, and all characterized, I feel, by thinking they're saying something especially clever.
Hurray, yippee, yahoo: The Banff Springs Hotel liked my arty, arty copy. One down, several hundred to go.
Monday, May 14, 2001
Another weekend, and I'm at a crossroads. The new job's hitting a downside this week (part of the job, but still makes me all worried and spazzy). So I was thrilled to leave my worldly cares behind on Friday night and spend time in Cacomixl Land, playing the Millennium edition of Trivial Pursuit. I was teamed up with Bad Man and we thought we had a good lead at one point, but then everyone caught up with us and there were several heart-pounding moments as the other teams made it to the center of the wheel, only to blow their final questions. Saturday was the usual mix of action and disorganization (read: lazy assedness), but ended well. I spent Saturday night drinking and, most uncharacteristically, dancing until midnight.The music was great, the camaraderie superb,and even though my friend couldn't make it to the event, I still managed to have a good time.
Then Sunday I drove out of town to meet my friends at a bucking horse sale close to the small town of Innisfail. My friend Jean was selling an unrideable mare at the sale. Throughout the afternoon, over 200 horses, many of them wild as birds, were herded into chutes, had saddles or bareback cinches tied to them (and some of these horses had never been haltered), and had a stranger climb on their backs. Well, no surprise, some of the horses went mad with terror, and over the four hours that we were there we saw three of them die. One flipped itself in the chute and broke its neck; one was bucking crazily in the chute, came out with a cowboy on its back, made one enormous leap, then fell and broke its spine. A tractor dragging a sledge was brought in to drag the horse away. The third horse also wrecked in a fit of crazy bucking, breaking a leg (and incidentally, breaking the rider's arm), and was also hauled away on the sledge.
Now, if you're an unrideable horse in the province of Alberta, generally your alternatives are rodeo bucking or ending up in a dog food can. I've known this forever. And possibly the three dead horses were spared a much worse fate, more terror, at the slaughterhouse. But I'm more than ever opposed to rodeos as a result of yesterday's events. As long as pregnant mare urine is used to synthesize estrogen for birth control pills, there are going to be more horses than there are riders, and their fate isn't always a happy one. It troubles me no end, however, that terrifying animals for sport is so heartily condoned in my province. And please, no crap about how rodeo is a "heritage sport." So's bear-baiting, if it comes to that.
Friday, May 11, 2001
Poor old Blogger. It's been coughing up my blogs with the frequency of one of Howie's cats.
Summary: I've had a "Oh no I've lost it/how soon before they find out I'm not really a writer/why can't I write like Duane/Jon/Grant kind of week. But then I remember what's just transpired at EyeWire, and I shut the hell up. Here's to a much better and brighter future for all of us.
Except for Duane, of course, because he's been ignoring me all week.
Thursday, May 10, 2001
Aieee, a mystery! Just what is der Splorpmann talking about? Let us hope he elucidates, and that right speedily.
Congratulations, France. You've made the worst movie of the year so far. Feminist revenge flick, hah! The main characters were killing women just as readily as they were men. Yeah, strike a blow for the sisterhood--shoot anything that moves.
Tuesday, May 08, 2001
Pardon my interjection, please. How can they shut down EyeWire, you ask? Because they're all a bunch of spineless twits Jane, that's how.
In shock: I'm just in shock. How can they shut down EyeWire? The formula seems to be this: Acquire small, successful company. Assimilate same into corporate structure. Change corporate structure. Gut small, successful company over period of 11 months. Close small, successful company in slow, painful stages. In my last months at EyeWire I heard that the same technique had been applied to a small photography company in Sydney NSW. The corporate restructuring caused a lot of talented people to leave, and no new hiring was approved. The office shut through sheer attrition.
I'm so sorry, all my EyeWire pals, that you have to go through this shit. Especially to those who lived through the other shit 3 years ago when Adobe had the same bright idea to gut the company. Although for once in my life I feel I had excellent timing to leave when I did back in February, EyeWire is very dear to me because of the fantastic people there. So to Jon, Duane, Howie, Rachel, and Rich: although I know you're all eminently hireable, and I'm not really worried about any of you, I have to echo Grant on this and say the situation really, really sucks.
Friday, May 04, 2001
Friday, 3:30 p.m., slightly hammered: I must be in advertising.